WATCH #TummyMustFall: Runner-phosa leads the pack on morning walk

2018-02-20 09:34

Cape Town - Dressed in a black African National Congress tracksuit and a peak cap bearing the face of Nelson Mandela, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday put his best foot forward and led a walk from Gugulethu to Athlone in a bid to promote healthy living through exercise.

Ramaphosa, accompanied by a large crowd of walkers, tackled a brisk 5.5km walk at 05:30 and reached Athlone Stadium at 06:45.

READ: Leave Cabinet decisions to the president, Pandor tells opposition

"This walk for me is invigorating. It starts off my day very positively. I have positive thoughts in my head and I use the walk to think through the issues that happened yesterday and the issues we will be dealing with the following day," he said.

"So, it's a moment of reflection, almost a moment of meditation. But also, a moment of trying to get fit and lead a healthy lifestyle."

Walking is the cheapest activity to do this, he said.

"Putting on your walking shoes - whether your shoes are beautiful or not - whether you wear socks or not. It's wonderful to just… walk."

As he made his way past Manenberg, women dressed in their night gowns gushed as the president smiled at fascinated onlookers.

Commuters allowed their buses and taxis to pass as they whipped out their cellphones, trying to capture the perfect picture of the president.

"It's when I walk that I get to interact with people and today I met so many wonderful people. I met Aunty Veronica, who is 75 years old, two young women from the US who are studying here; some business people. I met Mr Alberts, who was moved from District Six.  I am going to be speaking about him in Parliament today."

Ramaphosa, who said he usually covers 10km and who was once "crazy enough" to clock 16km, said he hoped to take part in walks with citizens three times a week.

"This, for me, is what young people call #MkhabaMustFall. I want my tummy to fall, so I am going to continue walking," he quipped.

Responding to a question about a possible Cabinet reshuffle, Ramaphosa said his walk was a time to reflect, "even about Cabinet, and all that".

"I have been walking on the Sea Point promenade and meeting a lot of interesting people, shaking hands and taking selfies. Sometimes I ask them: 'Can I take a selfie with you?'" he joked.

"This is how we continue building our nation - being healthy people, being fit, and also being fit for purpose to be able to do things.

"One of the great things that have been happening since the State of the Nation Address [is] many people I have been meeting say: 'President, send me.' Send me. Thuma mina. And that has been the rallying cry of many people.

"So, it's no longer me asking to be sent, it's many people that I meet saying send me as well," he said.

His "send me" comment referred to the lyrics from a Hugh Masekela song which he quoted in his State of the Nation Address.

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Read more on:    anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  cape town  |  politics

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